Friday, November 24, 2006


Today’s post is dedicated to my cool brother Steve, who is way funnier than I am and has his own blog but is too busy running his company to update it. He was also my first reader and still checks my blog daily so everybody say hello to Steve *wave*. It was also Steve who gave me a gallery guide from the Goya section of the Prado Museum – a guide that has proven to be unexpectedly useful today.

So 2006 was an on year for Thanksgiving which means the relatives from my father’s side reuned from far and near to Price, Utah for some feasting, mingling and hoop shooting. We made a big enough group to fill the gymnasium of the church reserved by Aunt Weezer for the occasion. After the consumption of much traditional Thanksgiving fare, we constructed a huge folding-chair circle and commenced the family introductions. Ethel and Elton (aren’t those the greatest grandparent names ever?) had only four children so that part is easy. And I know all their grandchildren (my cousins) because we grew up together. But I get completely lost when we get to the greats and the great greats who seem to be multiplying at exponential rates. Thus the need for introductions.

Each family took a turn introducing their kids and giving a short update of the year’s accomplishments. After one cousin shared a bit too much embarrassing personal information about her grown daughter’s recent weight loss (40 inches, JumpSnap Diet, going to be on an infomercial for being a big loser, “hello? Mom please sit down!”) my brother Steve suggested we start working on Dad’s family-intro. spiel for next time.
“We’ve had a busy year. My oldest son Jim couldn’t be here but sends his regards from the al-Qaeda training caves. My #2 son Scott is here, thanks to his parole officer extending the radius of his ankle-bracelet range. Speaking of parole, Anne is finally out of the mental hospital and the great news is that her lithium doses have been reduced for at least two of her personalities. My wife is also doing well at the cocaine rehab clinic. My daughter Julie has lost 40 inches using an experimental new weight-loss method from Mexico involving tapeworms so we’re really excited about that….”

We could have gone on, but that’s where the tryptophan wore off and a massive game of speed basketball began. Oh well. We have a full two years to perfect it.

Speaking of less-than-flattering family portraits, here’s one from Francisco Goya of the Royal Family of Charles IV. Or as one writer described it “the corner baker and his wife after winning the lottery.” Perhaps Charles’ own family intro. spiel would have gone something like this:
“I would like to welcome everybody to the on year at the Spanish court. I’ve got my three sons here with me today, all of whom bear a strange resemblance to my wife’s lover Prime Minister Godoy. My oldest, Ferdinand is in a gifted program in the Madrid School District where he is plotting the eventual overthrow of my reign, so we’re really proud of him. My wife Queen Maria Luisa of the beak nose finds time between running my government, sleeping with my ministers, and watching her weight after 14 pregnancies to sew sparkly medals onto my suits. Two of my homely daughters have married their cousins, but then so did I, so what can you do?
Today we have with us my sister-in-law Maria Josefa who has recovered nicely from that raging case of syphilis but is growing a hairy brown map of Gibraltar on her face. And the lady with the twisted neck? We’re not sure who she is but she was dressed up nice so we thought we’d bring her along.”

Do you think they played hoops in the royal gymnasium afterwards?


meno said...

Your dad can use that speech really soon, as part of the annual Christmas letter. Oh please?

Julie said...

Now there's an idea. I'm sure if he's tired of bragging about our various degrees and accomplishments he can use our "alternate" newsletter.

amy said...

Great post...!!!!

Heth said...


Charles' family introdutction had me giggling my head off.

Anonymous said...

Hello Steve!
Sounds like a great time together. And nice work on the uber-snarky (and historically accurate, right? I remember so little of European history... wait! Google!) Royal Family review.

Julie said...

Thanks Amy...!!!

Those Spanish royals keep me laughing too. Silly inbreeders.

Actually I did do my research on this one so it is accurate. Who could make this stuff up?

scribbit said...

Yup, your family is huge. Sounds like my husband's clan. He loses track at the first counsins level though, he can't even name all of them.

Julie said...

I think he should create a cheat sheet for the next family gathering. It helps to have all the names written down.

stay said...

Haha... Very nice.

It was a pretty good Thanksgiving get together this year, wasn't it? A few people who made it this year may not be around for too many more years, and the basketball events were unusually inclusive. :)


Julie said...

I agree. I'm wondering how long the huge ON years will continue since the 2nd generation is getting older.... Soon we'll have to do our own gatherings. We make quite a crowd.

LaughingElk said...

I am your father, Luke. And your uncle.

European royalty was suffering from years of inbreeding during Goya's era. I guess that's what happens when you tell the prince he can only marry someone of royal blood.

Goya was actually a very popular court painter, under several different kings. Have you ever thought it might be because he painted royalty as much better looking than they really were? Now there's a scary thought.

Julie said...

Now that's frightening. I don't think I want to know what they really looked like if Goya's portraits are actually flattering.

The Lazy Organizer said...

Oh man. I got to get me some tapeworms. Except that last photo was enough to make me lose my turkey dinner.